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A Coppes Family Photo circa 1915

Bill Warner
February 21, 2019
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Hello, Today for Bill’s History Corner we are looking at a porch scene with the family and guests of Frank Coppes posed for a group picture. I’m imagining a casual Sunday dinner with guests, likely something the Coppes families did often. I’m putting a date of about 1914-16 for this photo, and I’m basing that guess on the only child in the picture. Young Virgina (daughter of Harold & Edith) was born April 13, 1911. In 1917 a second daughter was born to this couple, and because the 2nd child is not in the picture, this photo likely was before 1917. Also, Claude Coppes has a lady friend with him, meaning he was not married at the time of this picture. Claude married Harriett Star on May 14, 1918.

You know me, I’m curious about everything. So, I’m wondering how there just happened to be someone with a camera in the vicinity able to take this picture and provide a print to the family. Or, did Frank hire a photographer to be there with a camera setup? Wonder what day to day life was like for the children of the most famous family in Nappanee?

If I’m correct about the date of this picture, Frank & Kate would have been 58 & 57 years old, Harold was 30, and Claude was 26. Under the direction of the president of the company, Frank Coppes, the business at the Coppes Bros. & (Harold) Zook Company was beginning to explode. The partnership with the Mutschler Brothers had dissolved approx. 2-3 years earlier and the Coppes Bros. & Zook Co. was setting up the company to manufacture kitchen cabinets exclusively. The sawmill and flour mill continued to operate as it did before the partnership.

This interesting photo like so many others was shared by the historical collection at the Nappanee Center.